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Taco Bell's Inexpensive and (Relatively) Healthy New Item: The Black Bean Burrito

Updated on November 11, 2012
A thumbs up for the black bean burrito!
A thumbs up for the black bean burrito! | Source

Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to a new kid on the block of fast food - the black bean burrito. Is it a meal? Is it a snack? The answer is yes.

For those who need a quick picker-upper in the middle of the day to keep them going, or for those wanting to make it a part of a complete meal, Taco Bell's new black bean burrito is everything you could ever hope for.

With the taste quality that we have all come to love and expect from Taco Bell, along with an attempt to at least appear healthier (although one can dream that it is actually better for you), the black bean burrito is the simplified, less expensive alternative to the new Cantina series - Taco Bell's attempt to compete in the big burrito arena with players like Chipotle.

The replacement of the refried beans with black beans, and the nice addition of cilantro rice, certainly adds to a new, delicious experience for avid Taco Bell fanatics such as myself.

If you have read my past articles, you know that one of my dream jobs is to work for Taco Bell. However, even if I that career never becomes a reality, I will still gladly recommend this fine burrito I have come to know and to love.

Black Bean Burrito

Nutritional Facts
Calories from fat
Saturated fat (g)
Total fat (g)
Trans fat (g)
Cholesterol (mg)
Carbohydrates (g)
Dietary Fiber (g)
Sugars (g)
Protein (g)
It's not easy to make a picture of food look good. But regardless, this burrito tastes fantastic!
It's not easy to make a picture of food look good. But regardless, this burrito tastes fantastic! | Source

Pros of the New Black Bean Burrito

If the information shared above isn't enough to inspire you to bolt out of your house to the nearest Taco Bell, then perhaps the following benefits will.

The Taste:

If I were to rate the taste of this burrito from 1 to how beautiful my girlfriend is, it would be a 9 (that answer is largely to keep myself from getting into trouble). For fast food, this burrito is great. With the black beans, rice, and three cheese blend, it feels as if one is eating a miniaturized Chipotle burrito for 1/3 of the cost.

The Price:

At around $1.75, this burrito is relatively well priced as a snack or part of a complete meal. The amount of food will doubtfully fill you up, but with the addition of a taco, burrito, or tostada, one can have a taste-diversified meal for around $3.

The Nutrition:

Sadly, there is little that can ever be beneficially said about fast food nutrition. And honestly, this burrito is not much better. However, in both the ingredients used to make it, and in the nutritional composition, it is on the better end of the fast-food spectrum.

In other words, if the alternative is a Big Mac, then the burrito is a good substitute. However, if you are wavering between the black bean burrito and a home made vegan salad - go with the salad.

What is the primary decider when you select where to find your lunch? (Honest answer)

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You may want to consider finding healthy alternatives to constantly eating fast food. One meal at a fast food restaurant can use up the majority (or all) of your daily fat and salt suggested intake. While the convenience is nice, frequently consider other healthy alternatives as well.

Con of the Taco Bell Black Bean Burrito

No review would be complete without the negative aspects being included in the review. Because everyone is well familiarized with the negative wealth benefits of fast food, I will not go into that here. If you would like to learn more about health and fast food you can either Google search it or watch "Super Size Me".

That being said, there is really only one thing that I can say negatively impact my view on the black bean burrito:

  • The Sodium Content: With the daily amount of sodium intake recommend for an adult at around 2,300 mg, the black bean burrito's 1,100 really reduces the amount of additional salted items that I can eat in a single day. While still not outrageous for fast-foods, it is a little on the higher end. Additionally, the level of fat in this burrito is noticeably lower than many alternatives.

If Taco Bell could find a way of slightly reducing the sodium content, I would suggest that the black bean burrito is one of Taco Bell's greatest successes in healthfulizing (I made up that word), their menu.

The Black Bean Burrito!

4 stars for Taco Bell's Black Bean Burrito

The burrito received 4 stars because of it's great taste, attempt to be healthy, and the simple fact that it is from Taco Bell. I have withheld the 5th star because of the high salt content and relatively unhealthiness of fast food. If the salt content is reduced by 200 mg, I would give the black bean burrito a 4 1/2 star rating.

My Conclusion About the Burrito

After extensively eating, admiring, and researching the black bean burrito, I have learned two things:

  1. The black bean burrito is a delicious drive-thru food that is striving to be healthy (though still has a way to go).
  2. Fast-food is certainly NOT healthy.

Therefore, next time you decide to go out for fast food, consider purchasing the Taco Bell black bean burrito. It truly is delicious and almost nutritious. However, until Taco Bell comes up with a higher health conscious menu, you probably do want to eat there as frequently as I have been recently (4-5 times a week).

In the process of writing this article I have decided to reduce my fast-food intake. However, when I do eat fast food, it's the Taco Bell black bean burrito! (And other quality Taco Bell items).

How would you rate your experiences of the black bean burrito, Taco Bell, and fast food in general?


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    • profile image

      Jack 2 years ago

      EARRINGS4DIVAS: I too have upset stomach usually after eating Taco Bell but this blackbean burrito hasn't caused those IBS issues.

      I highly recommend it!

    • EARRINGS4DIVAS profile image

      Mera 3 years ago from California

      I really do not eat at Taco Bell anymore, since I discovered I have

      IBS. Something about that food makes my stomach hurt really bad.

      But this black bean burrito sounds really good; I love black beans with anything. You are tempting me to try Taco Bell again.

    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      Very true Carrol. It would be great to find food that was fast, easy, good tasting, AND healthy. Maybe one day...

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      Oh well it is better than most fast food items. All food in restaurants is basically not healthy. The chefs make food to taste good...salt, fat, cream, sugar.

    • krsharp05 profile image

      Kristi Sharp 5 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      I'm a sucker for Taco Bell. We have one about two blocks from us and most of the time I can successfully drive by but on those late night, I haven't cooked, he's tired...nothing in the fridge nights, Lord bless the mild sauce. Thanks for sharing the Hub! -K

    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      You will certainly have to try this burrito! And Leah, it does sound like you live a difficult life! lol. But I understand. I have lived in several locations similar to that - we had to drive 30 minutes to Wal-Mart and Costco was at least 90 minutes. But certainly give it a shot the next time you end up near one!

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 5 years ago from Western New York

      I'll have to try the black bean burrito - we have a Taco Bell in our area, but it is a decent drive (we have no bookstore, no Target, and no Costco, so we obviously lead very hard lives). I haven't been to Taco Bell since they introduced the Cantina line, though my husband has made a few midnight trips to pick up a Mexican Pizza. He's addicted.

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 5 years ago from Arizona

      I will definitely be trying this burrito. I am more of a fan of Del Taco, but there is a Taco Bell right down the street, so sometimes convenience trumps personal preference! Thanks for the rigorous review! :)

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 5 years ago

      I guess I 'll stick with my can of black beans! Thanks for the analysis.

    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      Thank you Cassy for reading and sharing!

      Wesman, you may need to start your own Taco Bell competitor restaurant if you have mad black bean burrito making skills.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Well next time I do go through that drive through...I'll be on the lookout for that.

      I do love the black beans...I forever keep some cans of them and some graded cheese and jalapenos to make a quickie for myself!

    • CassyLu1981 profile image

      CassyLu1981 5 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      Glad you approve of the burrito. I've never had one but now that you recommend it I might have to try one! Voted up and shared :)